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Re: Advice Workplace that Forces Non-Free Software

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Advice Workplace that Forces Non-Free Software
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2020 08:41:28 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.14.0 (2020-05-02)

Hello Mike,

I appreciate your viewpoints, here are some of my opinions:

* Mike Gerwitz <> [2020-08-29 06:34]:
> Software freedom in the context of an employer is worth considering a
> little bit differently than freedom in your own personal
> computing.

In my opinion injustice is injustice, if it happens to me personally
or if it happens to other people. Spreading of free software is one
way to liberate others, and talking about it and teaching others is
also one good way to liberation. Injustice need not be personal for me
to act to help other people.

> When you are performing work for an employer, you are acting on their
> behalf.  When a company adopts non-free software, then the company is
> placing itself in an unfortunate situation---they are being denied
> certain freedoms.  But you are not personally deprived of freedoms,
> because you aren't acting in a personal capacity, so long as that
> software is not installed on your own hardware (e.g. your personal
> laptop).

Injustice imposed by proprietary software is not asking how is person
acting or how and in which position is person in some company, and I
think it was never discussed earlier that I know that there are some
differences if person is working in company or not, as injustice is

Employee working on software that cannot be improved, verified,
distributed, is certainly deprived personally of many freedoms,
employee cannot get the same software for himself, cannot study it,
and cannot improve it for the company, cannot help other companies to
use the same software. Right? So employee is denied personal
freedoms to help others. We are back to same injustice and same
sharing liberties.

Thus situation of employee is not relevant. What is relevant is can
software be freely modified? Can software be freely studied? Can
software be improved? Can software be shared?

> If you were to clock out and continue using those non-free programs for
> your own personal work---rely on it for your _own_ computing---then you
> have ceded control of your computing to others.  But if you log off,
> walk away, and log onto your own free system for your computing, then
> your personal computing has not been impacted.

I am sorry, I cannot agree to that.

Software freedom is not conditional upon personal or business work and
it never was conditional that I know.

> But it's also important to understand that there are many issues that
> employees feel passionate about that employers do not accommodate, or
> even agree with.  What if your coworker is vegan---should the company
> disallow meat on the premises?  What if one of the employees is a
> climate activist---should they work only at companies that have net zero
> or negative carbon emissions?  Employers cannot meet the demands of all
> employees.  Sometimes they're in direct conflict.

In my opinion, employers & employees relations is just a continuance
of masters and slaves relations. Most natural business relation
between people are partnerships and not employee/employers
relations. Let us not take "employee/employers" relations as granted
and we can create partnerships in the world where more balanced
exchange between people may take place. In partnerships, both sides
can be responsible and can be profiting from business.

It is not up to "employee" to abide by employers, it is up to person
to decide if person wish to work in abusive environment where person
is nothing else but in a new form of slavery with liberties taken away
as granted. So each "employee" may decide for oneself.

In East Africa there are suprisingly many partnerships and it is
natural state of doing business together, while in Western Countries,
it is natural state to employ people. Yet, one may benefit if one
travels the world and observes other business relations, which could
be more natural and traditional.

> The other option, of course, is to restrict oneself to positions that
> only make use of free software. But depending on far too many variables
> to list here, and depending on your priorities, that may be very
> difficult to do.

Anything in life could be difficult to do, depending of person's attitude.

I don't find it difficult. And I have not found it difficult to
recommend, install free software to people running various businesses,
my efforts were appreciated and demanded, and I have not found it
difficult to use free software. Maybe by chance, I don't know why, I
simply don't have that feeling it is difficult.


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